Mini Budget 2022

AG explains hike in prices of essential items

March 25, 2022 4:50 am

[Source: File Photo]

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the pricing crisis in Fiji is a result of a volatile cocktail of global development.

While delivering the 2021-2022 Revised Budget in Parliament, Sayed-Khaiyum says a major issue in all conversations across the country was the rise in the price of food and other essential items.

He says there was a worldwide explosion of consumption coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, paired with trillions of dollars injected into economies by wealthy nations, which produced consumer demands of historic proportions.

Article continues after advertisement

He says the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also initiated a humanitarian and economic disaster, affecting prices for many essential raw materials such as wheat, oil and gas.

Sayed-Khaiyum says despite being far removed from the conflict, the economic shockwaves has landed as a tidal wave on the shores of small island states such as Fiji.

“Small pacific nations are even more exposed because we are the most import-dependent nations in the world. On average, SIDS have a 90 % dependency on imported petroleum fuel and import 60% or more of their food needs.”

He says with the hike in global wheat prices, Fiji can only purchase wheat at the world market price.

As for oil, Sayed-Khaiyum says Fijians are driving imported cars on imported fuel and the seemingly distant events on foreign soil have a direct impact on the country.